Holiday weight gain can happen to anyone. Autumn and winter holidays are typically centered around big family dinners, and many traditional mainstays are high in fat and calories that end up contributing to an expanding waistline. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case– there are seven easy ways to help keep away holiday weight gain and contribute to safe, effective weight loss.
1. Boost your activity.
If you’re at a comfortable weight now, take a look at how you maintain it. If that involves exercising four times a week and eating healthfully, make whatever adjustments you need to that will allow you a couple of holiday indulgences. If that means skipping a cheat day here and there or adding an extra day’s worth of exercise to your routine, do so. A personal trainer can help you maximize the effectiveness of your workouts and come up with strategies to incorporate more physical activity during your daily life.
2. Bring healthy options to parties.
If you’re attending a family party or potluck-style holiday dinner, bring a healthy dish instead of a dessert or bottle of wine. It’ll ensure that you have something available to eat that’s as good for you as it is delicious.
3. Stay hydrated.
Remembering to drink enough water is important for more than just working out. A lot of holiday celebrations involve alcohol, which contributes a lot of sugar and calories. Keep an eye on your liquid calorie intake by choosing water over alcohol.
4. Find ways to fit in more physical activity.
Sometimes, no matter how carefully you diet, holiday weight gain happens anyway. One of the biggest culprits is the tendency to be more sedentary during winter. When the weather’s cold, people are less likely to go for walks, park further away from their destination when driving, or do anything that will increase their physical activity if it means having to be out in the cold. If your physical activity is slipping, personal training can give you an individualized exercise plan to help keep you strong, active, and healthy this holiday season.
5. Practice mindful eating.
Holiday dinners are feasts for the senses. Eat slowly, and take time to really enjoy every bite. Focus on the flavors, scents, and textures. Since it takes time for the stomach and brain to communicate feelings of satiety, eating slowly will help you feel full without eating a lot of excess calories.
6. Keep a food and exercise journal.
Food journals have long been part of good weight loss strategies. It’s very easy to overeat and forget about it, but keeping a food journal shows you exactly how much you’ve consumed. Use a journal to help you keep track of where you’ve indulged, where you need to cut back, and how much activity you’re getting.
7. Find an accountability buddy.
It’s easy to let go and put on weight over the holidays if you don’t have someone else invested in helping you stay healthy. If you think you might be inclined to ignore holiday weight gain until spring rolls around, it might be time to look into personal training. A trainer can help ensure that you stay committed to exercising regularly and staying at a healthy weight.
Holiday weight gain doesn’t have to be an inevitability. Whether you’re trying to maintain your weight or shed a few pounds, incorporating these simple tips into your holiday routine can help.